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United States v. Anderson

United States District Court, D. Maryland

January 19, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
TERRIN TAMAL ANDERSON

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Presently pending and ready for resolution are: (1) a motion to vacate sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 filed by Petitioner Terrin Anderson (“Petitioner”) (ECF No. 69); (2) a motion for production of documents filed by Petitioner (ECF No. 70); and (3) a motion to amend filed by Petitioner (ECF No. 71). The issues have been briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, the motions to vacate sentence, for production of documents, and to amend will be denied.

         I. Background

         In a series of eight controlled buys from April 2011 to January 2012, Petitioner sold over 300 grams of cocaine base to agents of the United States government. (ECF No. 72, at 1). On June 6, 2013, law enforcement executed a search warrant and an arrest warrant. They searched Petitioner's residence at Indian Hills Place, Waldorf, Md. where a firearm was found. Law enforcement arrested Petitioner at his girlfriend's apartment at Promenade Place, Waldorf, Md. (ECF No. 70, at 2).

         Petitioner was charged in an eight count indictment on August 19, 2013. (ECF No. 72, at 1). On September 9, 2013, Petitioner's counsel moved to suppress the evidence obtained from the search. The motion mistakenly stated that Petitioner had been arrested at the Indian Hills residence. (ECF No. 34).

         On November 26, 2013, Petitioner pled guilty to one count of distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 and one count of possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). As part of his plea, Petitioner effectively agreed to withdraw the motion to suppress. (ECF No. 75-4, at 11).

         On December 1, 2014, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No. 69). With his motion to vacate, Petitioner attached a motion to require production of documents related to the search warrant, (ECF No. 70), and a motion for leave to amend once the documents were produced (ECF No. 71). On January 30, 2015, the United States (“Respondent”) responded and attached some of the documents Petitioner requested. (ECF No. 75).

         II. Motion to Vacate Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255

         Petitioner asserts four grounds for relief in his motion to motion to vacate. Petitioner raises three claims of ineffective assistance of counsel related to the motion to suppress. (ECF No. 69, at 5). Petitioner also alleges ineffective assistance of counsel and a violation of due process because Petitioner did not understand he was waiving his rights to see evidence pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) when he pled guilty. (Id.).

         A. Standard of Review

         To be eligible for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, a petitioner must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his “sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). A pro se movant, such as Petitioner, is entitled to have his arguments reviewed with appropriate consideration. See Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151-53 (4th Cir. 1978). But if the § 2255 motion, along with the files and records of the case, conclusively shows that he is not entitled to relief, a hearing on the motion is unnecessary and the claims raised in the motion may be dismissed summarily. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b).

         B. Motion to Suppress

         Petitioner argues that counsel's performance was defective because the suppression motion misstated where he was arrested and did not cite any specific evidence in support of the request for a Franks hearing. (ECF No. 69, 6-7).

         To prevail on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, Petitioner needs first to show that “counsel's efforts were objectively unreasonable when measured against prevailing professional norms. Second, the [Petitioner] must demonstrate that counsel's performance, if deficient, was also prejudicial. This generally requires the [Petitioner] to demonstrate by a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's error, the result of the proceeding would have been different.” Frazer v. South Carolina, 430 F.3d 696, 703 (4th Cir. 2005) (internal citations omitted). In evaluating objective unreasonableness, “a court must indulge ...


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